Cover Thursday: Drowning/Floating Girls

What is it about girls drowning or floating in water, floating on air, and falling from the sky? Tell me. I've seen them before and haven't taken time to really notice them. I thought that they rather artistic, beautiful in a haunting sort of way. They portrayed helplessness and melancholy that probably matches the tone of the books. Some books. They're dramatic.

But -but- they're everywhere right now and most of them are there just for the sake of being dramatic.

 Ayanami Faerudo

Waiting on Wednesday: A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. This meme spotlights upcoming releases that I'm eagerly anticipating.
A Darker Shade of Magic
A Darker Shade of Magic #1
Victoria Schwab
Expected Publication: February 24, 2015
Genre: YA Fantasy
From V.E. Schwab, the critically acclaimed author of Vicious, comes a new universe of daring adventure, thrilling power, and parallel Londons, beginning with A Darker Shade of Magic.

Kell is one of the last Travelers—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes—as such, he can choose where he lands.

There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, ruled by a mad King George. Then there’s Red London, where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London, ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne—a place where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London...but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see—a dangerous hobby, and one that has set him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations, who first robs him, then saves him from a dangerous enemy, and then forces him to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—and that is proving trickier than they hoped.
The cover reminds me of those covers from the 60s or 70s. There's a mod feel to it.

This book sounds like it's going to be epic - a heavy book that's really meaty in content not unlike that of A Discovery of Witches.
Ayanami Faerudo

Book Blitz~ Figment: Insanity 2 by Cameron Jace {Excerpt + Giveaway}

Welcome to the Insanity Book Blitz!

Figment: Insanity 2
Mad in Wonderland #2
Cameron Jace
Publication date: December 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Retelling, Young Adult
After her encounter with the Cheshire Cat, Alice Wonder can hardly tell reality from imagination. But when kids have their head chopped off and stuffed in watermelons all over the city, it’s clear that another Wonderland Monster has arrived, possibly scarier than the Cheshire. Alice, along with Professor Pillar, have to solve the killer’s puzzles before a catalytic event threatens the death of millions. Then Jack Diamonds appears again. This time, Alice must know who he really is.
I open my eyes to an endless darkness. A blinding kind of darkness I haven't experienced before. Many times have I slept in pitch black in my cell in the asylum. This present darkness is different. It seems as if it has a soul, a substance. It feels too close and invasive to my privacy. It's as if I am wrapped between its octopus arms. A claustrophobic kind of darkness.

No explanation comes to my semi-numb mind right now.

Where am I?

My body is numb, enough to chain me in temporary paralysis. Each of my limbs is heavy enough that I don't bother lifting any.

Somehow, I am sure this will subside.

A slow train of memories arrives. It's slow but noisy and heavy, like a locomotive breath.

Finally, I remember. I know who did this to me.
About the Author

Wonderlander, Neverlander, Unicorn-chaser, enchanter, musician, survived a coma, & totally awesome. Sometimes I tell stories. Always luv the little monsters I write young adult paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and science fiction mostly. The Grimm Diaries series is a seven book saga that deals with retellings of fairy tales from a young adult POV - it connects most of the fairy tales together and claims to be the truth about fairy tales. I live in San Fransisco and seriously think circles are way cooler than triangles.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Ayanami Faerudo

ARC Review: When by Victoria Laurie

Victoria Laurie
Expected Publication: January 15, 2015
Genre: YA Mystery
Maddie Fynn is a shy high school junior, cursed with an eerie intuitive ability: she sees a series of unique digits hovering above the foreheads of each person she encounters. Her earliest memories are marked by these numbers, but it takes her father’s premature death for Maddie and her family to realize that these mysterious digits are actually death dates, and just like birthdays, everyone has one.

Forced by her alcoholic mother to use her ability to make extra money, Maddie identifies the quickly approaching death date of one client's young son, but because her ability only allows her to see the when and not the how, she’s unable to offer any more insight. When the boy goes missing on that exact date, law enforcement turns to Maddie.

Soon, Maddie is entangled in a homicide investigation, and more young people disappear and are later found murdered. A suspect for the investigation, a target for the murderer, and attracting the attentions of a mysterious young admirer who may be connected to it all, Maddie's whole existence is about to be turned upside down. Can she right things before it's too late?
ARC provided by NetGalley

Gut instinct: 1. Later deductions: 0.5

Whenever I read a mystery, I always play a game with myself: whether I could get the identity of the culprit in the first few chapters or I’d change my answer through evidentiary support throughout the book and be proven right or wrong in the end. So far, there’s a high rate of return when I trust my gut instincts with the answer – that or the bad guy was really obvious what with the right and left giving of clues. 

But Victoria Laurie didn’t give the obvious in the first chapters nor did she let up with too obvious clues throughout not until the very end. Why then would I give my gut instinct the win and later deductions half a point when few to no clues were given? My first guess was correct. As soon as I met that character and -boom!- flashing lights. However, I was thrown off by the narrative as the investigation went along. 

And that was why I loved it! I don’t like obvious solutions when it comes to my mystery reads. I want a puzzle, a quandary that I could solve alongside the main character. That even though I have my money pegged on one guy, the story would still enable to confuse me, rattle my theories and surprise me in the end. 

Maddie’s ability weirded me out at first. It was probably what gave me pause and prevented me from reading this selection for a few weeks. Oh, the homicide mystery tantalized me but I was not comfortable with deathdates. It wasn’t when I was deep into the first pages that I realized that Maddie’s ability was a good plot device because it could really factor in greatly in the investigation. I was largely thinking along the lines of the Body Finder series by Kimberly Derting or the Forensic Mystery series by Alane Ferguson (this is my first Victoria Laurie title and wasn’t aware of her other books). 

I am also pleased that this YA book wasn’t focused on romance, had romance play a huge part in this or had the girl hormonally-stalk a guy and force me to read the word ‘gorgeous’ every other sentence whenever he was in the scene. In fact, it wasn’t until the end that Maddie formally met the guy. Oh, I had my suspicions to his identity: from being the elder son of that first client to the (most likely) connection to an agent. That’s what half of the later deductions was for.

As I said, I was thinking along the lines of The Body Finder and The Forensic Mystery series - I thought this was going to be a series. There's potential for it but I guess the ending was really the end.
 Ayanami Faerudo

Relish Scavenger Hunt

Welcome to the Relish Chapter 1 Scavenger Hunt!

The first chapter of the sequel to Savor, the first book in the Vicious Feast series by Kate Evangelista, was divided into 11 pages. To read the whole chapter you have to go on a hunt starting at Kate's website. You will visit 10 blogs in total and at the end, a giveaway feast will be waiting for you!

Happy Hunting!
~Page 7~

“You put way too much sugar in your coffee, Larry.”

Yes. I rebounded on Laurel Hardy, the editor-in-chief of the Daily Gossip, our ironically named college paper. I’d insisted on no strings attached and he’d agreed. Now he spent most nights at my apartment, and I let him because I couldn’t stand sleeping alone. The dreams…I shook my head. I needed someone to be there when I woke up. I needed the warmth of another body beside me, the feel of hands on my body, the oblivion an orgasm brought. I got all of that from Larry for the low, low price of $9.99. Figuratively speaking, of course. 

Another thing to hate Luka for. In thirty days, he’d made me codependent. The guilt of using Larry for my comfort twisted my insides. Larry knew this. I’d made it clear from the start. Still he stayed. I got the feeling he suspected my recklessness with his feelings came from my stay with Vicious. He’d been the one to help me negotiate the terms of the NDA, so when I came back broken he must have put the two together.

Larry snorted at my criticism of his taste in morning pick-me-ups. “Miss Sweet Tooth? I don’t get why you’re drinking your coffee straight up these days. You used to put at least three packets of the white stuff in your mug.”

“Don’t make me sound like a sugar addict.” I stared into the dregs of my cup. In the background, the video had ended, displaying smaller screens featuring other Vicious music videos. I curled my fingers into my palm to suppress the need to click Replay.

“Alright,” he sighed out, smoothing down my hair in a sweet caress. “I get it. I won’t push.”

“Thanks,” I mumbled, not really feeling the gratitude today. That fucking dream, man, it messed something up in me.

“Want another cup?”

 I left Lunar Manor broken, seeking comfort in the hands of Laurel “the Dragon” Hardy, the editor-in-chief of the Daily Gossip. Okay, I may have used him to ease the pain He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named caused by his confession of loving someone else. On New Year’s Eve! Granted, he was drunk off his ass, but still! I stay with Larry mainly because the dreams are getting worse. Worse enough to wake me in the middle of the night needing the touch of another to save me from losing my mind.

Unfortunately, the handsome bassist of the uber successful indie rock band, Vicious, is never far from my mind. I thought I was rid of him once and for all only to have him show up at my hotel in London. Luka Visraya’s power over me is intense. No matter how far I run, I always end up circling back to him.

If you think my story is just some romance about two lovers getting back together, think again. Little did I know that returning to Luka meant I’d be plunging myself into a world more familiar than I ever thought possible. Trust me when I say I didn’t believe it either when the truth finally came out.
Expected Publication
January 12, 2015
About the Author

When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn't going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department and never looked back. Today, she is a graduate of De La Salle University - Manila with a Bachelor of Arts in Literature. She taught high school English for three years and was an essay consultant for two. Currently she writes full-time and is based in the Philippines. 

Ayanami Faerudo
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